Jays stay alive, beat In­di­ans

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Noah Tris­ter

Josh Don­ald­son home­red to give Toronto a long-awaited lead, and the Blue Jays fi­nally broke through with the bats, beat­ing the Cleve­land In­di­ans 5-1 on Tues­day.

TORONTO » Just in time, Josh Don­ald­son and the Toronto Blue Jays broke out the bats to save their sea­son.

Now they have a chance to re­ally make things in­ter­est­ing in this AL Cham­pi­onship Se­ries.

Don­ald­son backed up his fiery pep talk to team­mates be­fore the game, hitting a home run and turn­ing in a timely div­ing stop Tues­day to help the Blue Jays avert a sweep with a 5-1 win over the Cleve­land In­di­ans.

The In­di­ans still lead the matchup 3-1, but with a cou­ple of big hits and a strong out­ing by Aaron Sanchez, Toronto handed them their first loss of this post­sea­son.

“I’m not go­ing to give too much away of what I had to say, but just more so get­ting ev­ery­body’s at­ten­tion and fo­cus and un­der­stand­ing,” Don­ald­son said. “I mean, ev­ery­body knew com­ing into to­day how im­por­tant to­day was. But at the same time I just wanted to kind of re­it­er­ate that and let the boys know that I was com­ing to play to­day.”

Cleve­land will try again Wed­nes­day to win to earn its first World Se­ries trip since 1997, but the big con­cern for the In­di­ans com­ing into the se­ries — an in­nings af­ter that, the star third base­man made an out­stand­ing play to pre­serve a one-run edge.

Sanchez, the Amer­i­can League ERA cham­pion, al­lowed a run and two hits in six in­nings, and the bullpen fin­ished with three per­fect in­nings.

Klu­ber was start­ing on three days’ rest for the first time in his ca­reer.

“I felt fine. I don’t think it phys­i­cally af­fected me. I made a mis­take to Don­ald­son,” Klu­ber said. “We’re one win away from the World Se­ries and that’s what we’re fo­cused on.”

Klu­ber hadn’t al­lowed a run in either of his first two starts this post­sea­son. Don­ald­son, the reign­ing AL MVP and sport­ing a still freshly shaved face, opened the scor­ing with his first home run of these play­offs.

The wild-card Blue Jays made it 2-0 in the fourth when Eze­quiel Car­rera’s blooper fell be­tween three Cleve­land field­ers in left­cen­ter for an RBI sin­gle.

Roberto Perez hit an RBI dou­ble in the fifth off Sanchez. Car­los San­tana’s two-out grounder to the left side might have had a chance to score him, but Don­ald­son made the play to his left , then popped up and danced off the field with a bit of a fist pump.

“I was locked in,” Don­ald­son said. “It helps when you have a guy like Sanchez in the zone, where you can re­ally fo­cus in on a cer­tain area of the strike zone. And I was able to get a re­ally good read off the bat, and I was for­tu­nate enough to be able to make the play.”

The In­di­ans didn’t have an­other baserun­ner af­ter that. Brett Ce­cil, Ja­son Grilli and Roberto Osuna pitched an in­ning each in re­lief for Toronto.

Tak­ing no chances, Gib­bons brought in Osuna, his closer, in a non-save sit­u­a­tion to fin­ish off Cleve­land.

MARK BLINCH — THE CANA­DIAN PRESS VIA AP

Toronto’s Josh Don­ald­son, right, rounds the bases af­ter a home run off Cleve­land start­ing pitcher Corey Klu­ber dur­ing the third in­ning in Game 4 of the Amer­i­can League Cham­pi­onship Se­ries in Toronto on Tues­day.

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